Testing recipes

Much of our cooking these days is focused on testing recipes for the wedding. On Saturday we made broiled chicken, coleslaw and potatoes — all three are dishes we plan to serve at the wedding.

We cooked the chicken, which my parents raised this summer, loosely based on suggestions in The New Best Recipe cookbook.

A rooster, just over seven weeks old and big enough for the slaughterhouse

On Friday we started brining the bird, which was pre-cut into legs, breasts, wings and back, in a solution of 1/2 cup salt to 2 quarts water to 1 tsp. dried rosemary. Almost 24 hours later we broiled the chicken until a thermometer stuck inside the breast read 160 degrees (around 30 minutes). The end result was a little too salty, but otherwise juicy and delicious.

We simply cubed the potatoes and cooked them in the bottom of the broiler pan under the chicken. The drippings from the cooking bird made them greasy and delicious. We haven’t decided whether we’ll cook the potatoes this way, make mashed potatoes, or both.

We’ve been trying out different cole slaw recipes trying to find one we like, preferably without mayonnaise. Last weekend we tried Asian cabbage slaw from the Moosewood Cooks for a Crowd cookbook, but we found it somewhat dull. This weekend we tried a recipe I got from my mom for a Swedish slaw. We mixed shredded cabbage with onions, green peppers and carrots then marinated the vegetables in a very simple sauce of 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 3/4 cup canola oil, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp dry mustard and 1 T salt. We like this recipe quite a bit, and it’s very easy to make.

Lots of tomatoes!

We also made some mozzarella this weekend. We plan to have fresh mozzarella with tomatoes and basil as one of our appetizers. We’ll make more mozzarella and other cheeses gradually from now until the wedding. Read more in a guest post Andy plans to write about cheese making.

Andy making salsa

In other exciting news, we picked a delicious yellow watermelon this weekend. The soybeans are forming small furry pods. We picked our first green beans, and we have tons of tomatoes, which we’ve been drying and using to make canned salsa. We finally pulled out the first cucumber crop, but we have a second crop that will be ready soon. The carrots, corn and squash are all looking great.

We still have lots of pickles in the fridge. If you want to give them a try, let us know. We’re selling them for $20/gallon, plus a $2 deposit on the jar. For those in the Portland area, you can pick them up at the farmers market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but you have to order them first. Since we don’t have a certified kitchen, we can only sell our pickles under the table.


2 responses to “Testing recipes

  1. Nice looking tomatoes! I haven’t grown yellow tomatoes in a while. Do you like the flavor of yours, and what variety is it?

  2. The farmer’s markets here can have vendors selling homemade cakes, jelly, anything without a kitchen that has been inspected. However, the vendors sell under the umbrella of farmer’s markets. A person without a Health Dept inspection can only sell food with this approval IN the market not from their home or any other venue. I can give you information on that program if you like. Maybe after the wedding?

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